A highlight each year for hundreds of Rotary clubs around Australia and New Zealand is the Polio Movie Event.  This year’s movie is I Am Woman, the inspiring story of Australian singer/songwriter, Helen Reddy, who shot to global stardom in the seventies.
Clubs will be able to run events during October and November.  In Australia, the movie is being streamed to homes on Stan and the only way to see it at the cinema will be through Rotary events.  In New Zealand, the movie opens at cinemas on 12th November but Rotary clubs will have the exclusive to cinema screenings during October.
This year, the Polio Movie Event will be a tribute to Sir Clem Renouf.  It provides the perfect opportunity to have some fun, engage with community, get inspired, honour Sir Clem… and of course raise lots of funds for End Polio Now!
This year, COVID has made planning and running the annual Polio Movie Event much more challenging than usual!  There will be issues in some locations but, with appropriate measures, such as masks, sanitiser and sensible seating arrangements, it is possible for events to go ahead in most areas.
This year’s movie is I Am Woman. It’s the story of Australian singer/songwriter, Helen Reddy, who shot to global stardom in the seventies. While set in the US, the movie is an Australian production shot in Sydney. Tilda Cobham-Hervey is sensational in the lead role.
In Australia, the movie is only available to the public through streaming service Stan, from 28 August.  Apart from a small number of screenings at film festivals, the only way to see this movie at the cinema will be through Rotary events, during October and November.  I’ve had the opportunity to see the movie at home on my TV and can say that I would jump at the opportunity to see it at the cinema - it’s one of those big movies, far better experienced on the big screen. We are very grateful to Stan for giving Rotary this exclusive in Australian cinemas.
This year, we think it is very fitting that the Polio Movie Event be a tribute to Australian Past RI President, Sir Clem Renouf, who passed away on 11th June. Sir Clem was a giant in Rotary’s history and was one of the leading figures in our fight to end polio.
I Am Woman provides the perfect opportunity to have some fun, engage with community, get inspired… and of course raise lots of funds for End Polio Now. Your help in making this year’s Polio Movie Event successful by promoting the opportunity to your clubs, would be greatly appreciated. I’ve included further details below, including a range of resources to facilitate arrangements.
Further details about the 2020 Polio Movie Event:
We have created a number of tools to assist districts and clubs in promotion of the Polio Movie Event.
For clubs:
Note re the above PowerPoints: these allow you and the clubs to easily add your own details, such as district number, time and place of events, etc.  Then,
  • when saved as a PDF, this can be used for brochures and posters,
  • when saved as an image, it can be used in social media posts, websites, club and district newsletters and email campaigns.
  • The I Am Woman trailer is available on YouTube.
  • We also have a new short video on Rotary’s polio vaccination programs, made by a US filmmaker, which clubs can arrange for their cinema to show before the main movie.  Also, the film distributor is attempting to put together interviews with cast members for us to show (COVID-willing).
Clubs will need to decide what timing works for them and whether they would like to work with other clubs in their vicinity.  With audience sizes limited by social distancing, and with many people looking for new opportunities to have a little fun, we’re not going to be surprised if lots of clubs run more than one event.
Clubs will also need to make arrangements with their local cinema.  There is no pre-defined deal and the clubs will need to negotiate this with the cinema.  A typical arrangement might be a cost of $10 paid to the cinema, with a ticket price of $20, but this varies significantly by location.  Cinemas are not obliged to participate however most have had a tough time during the pandemic and will welcome the opportunity.
And if you can help us by tracking the events held in your district and letting us know the results, that would be extremely useful too: email to Robert.Byrne@rotary.org.
Senior Coordinator – Foundation Services, Rotary South Pacific & Philippines Office
Robert.Byrne@rotary.org  -  direct: +61 2 8894 9843
Last year, Rotary members raised over US$360 million for The Rotary Foundation
which transforms gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.
Read our full report at www.rotary.org/en/annual-report-2019